Category: College Application Tips
College Application Tips
After many colleges reported all-time low acceptance rates, some students might be curious about their yield rates, or just how many of these admitted applicants have chosen to enroll. Yield is a priority for every college because it impacts their place on rankings lists and it can also influence their bond ratings.
If you already know what field you want to study in college, or even have a general idea of your preferred discipline, taking some high school classes that align with your future college curriculum can save a lot of time and energy. But how do you know which high school classes will set you up for success in college?
For high school seniors across the country, the past few months have likely been a whirlwind of writing, editing, and putting the final touches on early college applications. While finishing up the last of your applications can feel like a satisfying achievement, many students are at a loss for what to do next. For some applicants, the period between hitting ‘submit’ and learning their admissions decisions can be particularly stressful. Here’s what you need to do after submitting college applications, including how to keep application anxiety at bay and make the most of your last semester of high school.
Many college-bound students who applied in the early round are holding their breath for their admissions decisions from their list of best-fit schools. After months of test preparation, studying, essay writing, and visiting schools, sometimes waiting for the results of this hard work can feel like the most difficult part of the entire process, especially if you still have regular decision applications to complete.
Scholarships are a win-win: students can help reduce the costs associated with attending college while also adding to their resumes. As an added bonus, the vast array of different scholarship options out there means there is truly an opportunity for every student.
While the application process will vary depending on the scholarship you are pursuing, there are some tried and true tips that can help students stand out from the pack. Keep reading to learn more about what it takes to craft a compelling scholarship application.
Getting a spot at Brown University, one of seven universities that make up the Ivy League, is exceptionally competitive. To earn a seat in the incoming class, students need to do more than get good grades; they also need to stand out in each component of the application process. In the past, this would have been through the interview; now, however, the best way to stand out is through the video introduction.
This short video intro gives applicants an opportunity to express their interest in attending the institution, as well as showcase their personalities. This is a great opportunity to to set yourself apart for all the right reasons during the process, so take advantage of it!
By Tasha, IvyWise College Admissions Counselor
As we head into fall and winter breaks, you might consider taking your college search to the next level by going on college tours and visits. Though the pandemic has vastly changed the landscape of what is possible – there are many virtual tour possibilities – when possible and safe, you should do your best to go on in-person tours.
If you are going on many college visits during a short period of time, during fall break, for example, it can be easy to start feeling overwhelmed. The details of each college may start to blur, and everything can start looking and sounding the same. It is important to take breaks and take a step back to ensure that you are getting the most out of your college visit experiences and to keep an eye out for any red flags you may find along the way.
It’s that time of year: the weather is starting to cool, the leaves are getting ready to change color, and pumpkin spice products are around every corner. Some students start to slow down as Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks approach, but while having time to unwind is essential, continuing your momentum through the fall will ensure you’re prepared not only for the college admissions process, but also college itself.
Balancing senior year and the college application process can be a bit stressful, but don’t let it overwhelm you. We’ve compiled some college prep tips that will help you make the most of your senior year and finish strong.1. Set Academic Goals
By senior year, you’ve probably been told to set goals numerous times already. While it may seem like a mundane task, navigating the fall semester with a clear set of goals in mind will allow you to get ahead and finish out the year with ease. Setting academic goals will also help you continue an upward trajectory and make the most of your last year of high school. If you struggle to set goals for yourself, your college counselor can help identify some areas of improvement to set goals that would be most beneficial for you.2. Get
In addition to the personal statement, many colleges also require students to answer supplemental prompts. These school-specific essays not only allow colleges to gain insight into students’ character and personal qualities – a trait that is commonly deemed important amongst admissions officers – but also helps them to gain perspective of a student’s level of interest in their institution.
The questions typically address certain aspects about the school or the applicant’s intended major, and while they’ve tended to grow a little quirky over the years, one question that typically pops up is some form of the “why [this college]?” prompt.
This essay, while seemingly simple, can help take an application from the “maybe” pile to the “accepted” stack. It is also a great opportunity for students to demonstrate their interest, knowledge of the school, and make a lasting impression on the admissions office. So, how do you write a killer “why this college” essay?Research, Research, Research
This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your interest in a college and highlight that you’ve done your research in the schools to which you apply. If tens of thousands of other applicants
By Carolyn, IvyWise College Admissions Counselor
The weather here in my home state of Tennessee is finally starting to cool, there is pumpkin spice creamer in my coffee, and I just squashed what will (hopefully) be one of the last mosquitoes of the year. And with the change in the seasons, of course, comes the first wave of college application deadlines. Over the past several years, applying early to colleges has become a popular trend, and many colleges have developed a multi-deadline admissions process that might include Early Action, Early Decision, Single-Choice Early Action, and/or Regular Decision options. Whether or not to apply early can be a stressful decision even in “normal” years, but even more so in recent application cycles that have been headlined with record-high applicant rates and record-low admit rates.
With early application deadlines fast approaching, it’s important to consider whether applying early is the right choice for you. Of course, the decision of when to apply to the colleges on your list is entirely up to you, your family, and your counselor, but I have put together a list of pros and cons of applying early that will
When it comes to college acceptances, many applicants view Harvard as the gold standard for admissions success. While the Ivy League college may not be a best-fit option for every student, there’s no doubt that plenty of future applicants are eager to gain a seat in Harvard’s next class of admitted students. So what does it really take to get in?
How to Get Into Harvard University: Table of ContentsWhen to Apply to Harvard University How Hard Is It to Get Into Harvard: Early Prep How Do You Actually Get Into Harvard: The Application Class Profile What Makes Harvard University Unique? When to Apply to Harvard University
Getting into Harvard is a major accomplishment and it doesn’t happen overnight. Gaining a seat at the top-tier institution takes time, hard work, dedication, and some careful planning. If you’re a student asking yourself “How do I get into Harvard?” or a parent wondering how to prepare your child for college, the first step is to develop an in-depth understanding of what goes into the application process and when you need to get started. Generally, students submit their undergraduate applications to Harvard
Princeton tops many students’ lists for dream schools to attend. Like most other Ivy League colleges, the university is known for its rigor and increasingly competitive applicant pool. As competition for a seat at the top-rated college intensifies, most future applicants are asking themselves the same question: what does it really take to earn admission to Princeton University?
Brown is at the top of plenty of students’ best-fit lists, so it’s no surprise that most prospective applicants want to do everything they can to stand out in their applications. While grades and course rigor carry the most weight in admissions decisions, students also need to write compelling essays that demonstrate their interest in attending the college.
In addition to the personal statement, students must prioritize the Brown University supplemental essays when compiling their application. Keep reading to learn more about the supplemental essays that Brown requires, as well as what it takes to write a top-tier personal statement.What Essays Does Brown Require?
Like most colleges, Brown University requires applicants to submit a personal statement as part of the Common Application. Students can choose from the Common Apps’ list of prompts and compose a response of approximately 650 words.
Brown University has a series of supplemental essays that students must answer in addition to the required Common App essay. For first-year applicants, there are three questions, and each response should be approximately 200-250 words. For students applying to Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME), there
While the Common Application is the most widely used college application, it’s not the only option for students who are getting ready to apply to their best-fit colleges. The Coalition Application is an alternative that now counts more than 150 institutions as member colleges.
For students who dream of attending an Ivy League university in a big city, Columbia University is often their top choice school. The college is renowned for its academic rigor and its core curriculum, which is the cornerstone of a Columbia education. Given these factors, it’s no surprise that gaining admission is exceptionally competitive.
Students need to do well in every component of the application process in order to stand out, and that includes the interview. Keep reading to learn more about Columbia interview questions, so you can be prepared to stand out and ace your interview.What Is a Columbia Admissions Interview Like?
The first step to excelling during the Columbia University interview is understanding exactly what goes into the process and what makes it unique. You should know that you will be speaking with a regional alumnus and not a member of the admissions office. Interviews are meant to be more informational than evaluative, so they tend to have a relaxed tone. You will typically be assigned to an alumnus who lives in your area, so this is a great opportunity to see what a Columbia
Most students know that Stanford is one of the country’s most prestigious colleges. However, far fewer prospective applicants possess an in-depth understanding of the most popular majors at Stanford University and the courses that set the school apart.
While virtually all Stanford programs are going to be engaging and academically challenging, there are a few that have gained significant popularity. Keep reading to learn more about the best majors at Stanford University and the classes students should put at the top of their wish lists.
As Stanford is one of the most competitive schools in the country, being admitted into this school is an incredible accomplishment. To gain a seat in the class, applicants need to excel in every component of the admissions process, including the optional interviews.
Many high school students may be new to interviewing, so it’s important to research what the conversation will be like if you want to maximize your performance. Keep reading to learn more about Stanford undergraduate interview questions and what you can do to put your best face forward.Do All Stanford Applicants Get Interviews?
It’s important to keep in mind that interviews are not a mandatory part of the admissions process at Stanford University. Applicants can pursue an optional interview with alumni if they would like. If you’re wondering how to get into Stanford, an excellent interview won’t guarantee you a spot in the class. However, it can help you demonstrate your interest in attending the college and help you learn more about the school from a new perspective.What Percentage of Stanford Applicants Get an Interview?
While getting into Stanford
While Stanford may not technically be part of the Ivy League, the school’s academic caliber—not to mention its competitive admissions process—rivals that of Harvard and Yale. Many students are eager to enroll in the top-tier university, which has a wide array of renowned programs including engineering and environmental science.
Although earning admission at Stanford University is challenging, there are a few steps applicants can take to set themselves up for success. Keep reading to learn more about how you can set your application apart.
How to Get Into Stanford University: Table of ContentsWhen to Apply to Stanford University How Hard Is It to Get Into Stanford: Early Prep How Do You Actually Get Into Stanford: The Application Class Profile What Makes Stanford University Unique? When to Apply to Stanford University
If you’re looking to gain admission to Stanford University, it’s important to understand the application timeline. Most applicants apply to Stanford during their senior year of high school, but those that are offered admission begin preparing to apply years earlier. Some students may choose to
While grades may carry the most weight in college admissions decisions, there are many other important components of the undergraduate application process, including your letters of recommendation. These letters allow admissions officers to learn more about who a student is, the role they play in the classroom, and how they might shape their college campus.
Consequently, students need to make sure that their letters of recommendation present them in the best possible light, especially if they’re applying to highly competitive colleges like Stanford University. If you want to learn more about how to ask for a letter of recommendation for Stanford University, read on for some top tips and best practicesHow Many Letters of Recommendation Does Stanford Require?
There’s a lot of uncertainty about how to get into Stanford. Ultimately, the application process includes quite a few factors which will contribute to your admissions prospects.
When it comes to the letters of recommendation, Stanford only requires two from different high school teachers. The university recommends requesting letters from 11th or 12th grade teachers in subjects like math, English, science, history, or
Although not technically part of the Ivy League, Stanford is virtually as selective as any of the institutions within this esteemed group of colleges. While they did not release admission data for the class of 2026, Stanford’s acceptance rate was 3.95% for the class of 2025, and we expect the school to continue at this level of selectivity moving forward.
While it’s no doubt that a Stanford acceptance letter requires tremendous academic ability and a serious work ethic, there are several steps students can take to increase their admissions odds. Keep reading to learn more about the elite college and what it takes to successfully apply to this top school.
Most STEM students already know that MIT is one of the most reputable names, not to mention an exceptionally academically rigorous college. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty about their admissions process, including the MIT interview. There’s a lot you can do to stand out in this part of the process.
Interviewing at a college can be an excellent way to set yourself apart and demonstrate your in-depth knowledge and enthusiasm for the school. Read on to learn what you can do to ace your MIT interview.What Is an MIT Admissions Interview Like?
Every student wants to know what the interview process is really like at their first-choice school. If Massachusetts Institute of Technology is that school for you, keep in mind that the interview process is relatively informal. It’s designed to be a casual conversation, which means you don’t need to dress up too much. For the 2021-2022 admissions cycle, all MIT interviews were held virtually.What Percentage of MIT Applicants Get an Interview?
MIT strives to provide every applicant with the opportunity to interview with an Educational Counselor (EC). Educational Counselors conduct MIT admission interviews. There are over
Since Harvard University is one of the most competitive and academically rigorous colleges in the United States, applicants know that earning admissions can be a challenge. However, students are often less aware of the challenges they might face once they actually enroll at Harvard. Have you ever wondered about Harvard’s graduation rate?
Graduation rates measure how many students complete required coursework for a four-year program within six years of enrollment. Read on to learn more about Harvard’s graduation rate and how it compares to other colleges.Why Are Retention and Graduation Rates Important?
Graduation rates are an important statistic because they serve as an indicator of how much support students have and the university’s commitment to helping students succeed. Similarly, retention rates are another valuable metric to consider because they provide a short-term view of how satisfied students are with their college experience. Graduation rates, unlike retention rates, are frequently factored into college ranking lists, like US News & World Report and Forbes.What Is the Graduation Rate at Harvard?
According to the most
If college is the gateway to the real world, then high school is the long highway that precedes it. After four years of high school, you might feel as though you are totally unprepared for the challenges of higher education. Although pumped-up academic standards are a big part of the college transition, being a college student also calls for independence, maturity, and responsibility.
Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your list of best-fit colleges, it’s time to consider application strategy. More specifically, rising seniors need to decide when they will apply to the schools on their list.
Early Decision can be a great application option for a student who is passionate about a certain school and able to meet the deadline. Keep reading to learn more about this application strategy and to determine whether applying early is the right move for you.
With a sprawling California campus, top tier academic offerings and Division 1 sports teams, it’s no wonder that UCLA emerges as a top-choice institution for many high school students. Given its popularity, students need to prepare thoroughly in order to emerge as competitive applicants.
Many schools utilize the Common App as their primary application form, and school-specific supplements allow every institution to customize this universal application in order to build a well-rounded first-year class.
Most rising seniors have a lot on their to-do lists in order to prepare for the college application process this fall. Students who get a jumpstart on the process before school is back in session and are often at a major advantage because they’re able to make the most of senior year and keep stress at bay.
Students interested in becoming engineers have traditionally enrolled in four-year degree programs at large universities with comprehensive engineering programs. These programs allow students to specialize in a particular type of engineering, such as mechanical, chemical, or civil. However, different paths for studying engineering have begun to diverge from the more traditional trajectory.
With a location in the heart of New York City and an array of top-ranked academic programs, it’s easy to understand why so many students place New York University at the top of their college best-fit lists. The institution has plenty of research and learning opportunities to offer, as well as all of the advantages associated with going to school in a major metropolitan city.
Consequently, it’s no surprise that getting into New York University is particularly challenging, with acceptance rates plummeting to new lows in recent years. Keep reading to learn more about what it takes to gain admission to New York University and the top tips students should keep in mind throughout the application process.
How to Get Into New York University: Table of ContentsWhen to Apply to New York University How Hard Is It to Get Into New York University: Early Prep How to Actually Get Into New York University: The Application Class Profile What Makes New York University Unique? When to Apply to New York University
Once students learn about
When most students think of top-tier colleges, Princeton and Harvard are likely some of the first schools to come to mind. Both institutions are members of the Ivy League that have plenty of famous alumni, as well as ample research and learning opportunities.
Despite these similarities, several distinguishing factors set each university apart. Keep reading to learn more about how Harvard and Princeton compare to one another and what this might mean for your own list of best-fit colleges.Is Harvard or Princeton More Prestigious?
While prestige should not be a deciding factor in your college application decisions, plenty of students are interested in learning how their potential best-fit schools might stack up to other universities. When it comes to comparing Harvard University versus Princeton University, it’s challenging to pick a winner because institutions are exceptionally prestigious. Harvard and Princeton are both members of the Ivy League, and each school is known for its extremely low acceptance rate and ongoing commitment to academic excellence.Why Is Princeton So Popular?
There are several reasons why Princeton University has become so
As the caps come off and the graduation celebrations begin, many high school graduates look forward to the unbridled freedom of the summer before college. After twelve plus years of non-stop academic and extracurricular responsibilities, this summer provides a much-needed chance for students to unwind after a hectic year of college applications and before an exciting freshman year. Rather than sleep through the hot summer days, use your time to prepare for the year ahead.
All the focus might be on seniors right now, but this is actually the perfect time for high school freshmen to start thinking about their college goals – even if they seem really far off.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way higher education institutions review applications with many colleges choosing to adopt a temporary test-optional application review process. However, with record-breaking applicant pools and record-low admit rates, families are worried that test-optional may not really mean test-optional at all. Here is what we know, so far.
This article is reviewed by the IvyWise team which includes former Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University, Christine.
As a member of the Ivy League that’s known for its top-notch music and arts programs, it’s easy to understand why many rank Yale at the top of their college list. The university, one of the oldest in the country, offers many strong areas of study and is within traveling distance of New York City.
Since Yale University has a stellar reputation and receives thousands of applicants each year, students must go the extra mile to get a spot. Read on to learn more about what sets Yale University apart and learn best practices to increase your chances of admission.
How to Get Into Yale University: Table of ContentsWhen to Apply to Yale University How Hard Is It to Get Into Yale: Early Prep How to Actually Get Into Yale: The Application Class Profile What Makes Yale University Unique? When to Apply to Yale University
The first step to any application process should be reviewing
Many current juniors who will be rising seniors this summer are well aware that their final year of high school is exceptionally important. Students must juggle completing their personal statements, applying to colleges, and preparing for graduation, in addition to keeping up with friends and extracurriculars.
More college admissions decisions are coming out this week, and we have some advice for students who were accepted to their top-choice colleges.
Most students are aware that Yale University is one of the most prestigious schools in the country. As an Ivy League institution, Yale is regarded as both academically rigorous and highly competitive, with acceptance rates dropping below 10 percent in recent years.
While knowing the basics is a good start, students must learn a lot more about any college on their best-fit list, and Yale University is no exception. Keep reading to learn about the most popular majors at Yale University and discover what sets the school apart.Will You Get Into Yale University?
If Yale is at the top of your college list, you’re going to want to find out exactly what Yale looks for in the applications it receives. It’s also beneficial to take a look at Yale admissions stats from recent years, to understand just how competitive the admissions process is.
While there’s no doubt that Yale is an exceptionally selective institution, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get a seat in an upcoming class. Instead, learning about Yale University will help you understand what test scores and GPA you should aim for and allow you
The Common Application has announced the personal statement essay prompts for the 2022-23 admissions season.
At IvyWise, we advise students to get started on their college applications the summer before their senior year. While current juniors can certainly start to brainstorm topics for their college application essays now, the Common App essay should not overshadow juniors’ current college prep, including extracurriculars, test prep (if applicable), studying for AP or other important exams, and other important college prep tasks like building their balanced college list and visiting schools.
After more than a year without in-person college tours, some universities are reopening for on-campus visits. Visiting colleges can be a valuable opportunity for students to get a comprehensive picture of a potential best-fit school and begin envisioning themselves on campus.